A Broken System: The United States Prison System

Topics: Prison, Recidivism, Penology Pages: 4 (1271 words) Published: November 8, 2013

A Broken System:
The United States Prison System

The United States prison system is not a suitable place for nonviolent drug offenders. The high rate of recidivism is caused by one thing and one thing only, prison sentences. Nonviolent drug offenders will have no choice other than to socialize with other inmates, some who have committed irreprehensible crimes, thereby greatly increasing their chance of becoming violent. The population of prisons in the United States is on a steady rise. One way to stop this is by reevaluating the three strikes law, because the proof that this law discourages repeat offenders is simply not there.

Nobody will disagree with this fact; the prison system in the United States is overcrowded. The population is constantly on the rise and doesn’t show any signs of stopping. The news is constantly reporting that our prisons and local jails are overtaxed and they need more money to build more space to accommodate their ever increasing population. There is controversy, however, when it comes to the type of prisoners that contribute to this issue. It is a cold hard fact that the law imprisons nonviolent drug offenders. It is, however, a matter of opinion if this law works to rehabilitate these offenders. Do they get rehabilitated or do they “serve their time” only to come out and offend again, ending up right back where they started? The rehabilitation process that the prisons claim to offer simply does not work. There must be some other way to “punish” this group of people. This type of socialization cannot possibly be beneficial to the 18 year old boy who gets popped with a joint. The first time offender is almost certainly doomed if changes are not on the horizon. We must then contemplate the three strike law. If this law worked, then surely our prison population would not be a topic for debate. Former inmates would have an education and be able to get jobs upon their release, but this...

References: Foucault, M. (1975). Illegalities and Delinquency. In M. Krasny and M.E. Sokolik (Eds.) Sound Ideas (pp. 456-461). New York: McGraw-Hill.
Santiago Baca, J. (2004). Enemies. In M. Krasny and M.E. Sokolik (Eds.) Sound Ideas (pp. 509-518). New York: McGraw-Hill.
Tannenbaum, F. (1920). Prison Cruelty. In M. Krasny and M.E. Sokolik (Eds.) Sound Ideas (pp. 466- 480). New York: McGraw-Hill.
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